I love to sing! I grew up in a singing family. We sang in the car, we sang in the living room, we sang as we worked. Usually we sang hymns, but we sang other songs as well.
As my singing voice declines with age, I seem to treasure those singing times even more. Last week I was at my brother’s home with many family members and we had an impromptu sing around the kitchen table, with the group extending into the family room. We had no books; instead, we had memories. Memories of those songs we sang as children and young adults—the old hymns that still resonate within our hearts.
Sunday, our Life Group met at our house and we planned next Sunday’s worship time. As we told our favorite songs, we tried them out. Soon we realized we just wanted to sing most of them right then. We had no books—again, just our memories. And that sufficed. It was our most inspiring Life Group ever!
Years ago my father told me that he was singing with some of the family and said, “We need to sing ‘Each Step I Take’ for Lanita, since she isn’t here.” I was touched that he remembered, so that’s remained my favorite song ever since.
When Steve and I were at Lipscomb, we loved the night-time outdoor devotionals with great singing. One of our favorites was “My God and I,” which I’d also sung in high school chorus when my dad was the director, so it has lovely memories, too. We especially liked humming after the last verse and hearing someone recite “The stars shine over the ocean” poem. Inspiring!
And lately I’ve noticed that I often have a song in my head when I awake. Sometimes the source is obvious, as when I awoke to “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from Les Miserables the morning after I saw it.
Some of these are totally random, such as “Heart of My Heart,” from my childhood. Another childhood tune that popped up was “Let the Sunshine In,” that I sang as a child. (This version from “The Flintstones” is NOT where I learned it.) Now I’ve learned that it was written by Stuart Hamblen. Who knew? He also wrote “It Is No Secret (What God Can Do).” His story is quite inspiring, as he and Billy Graham explain.
Another that popped up one morning was “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” One of my odd memories of this song was listening to it in the car as a high school freshman while waiting for my dad after school. Then when I was in my twenties I called in to a radio station to say what year it was a hit and I correctly guessed 1959. Won a carton of Cokes! (Yes, one of those with six real glass bottles.)
I still remember silly songs that I learned back then, too, such as “Sweet Violets.” My son-in-law was so intrigued that he looked it up—and discovered that I’d forgotten all but the first verse, which is certainly enough. Then there’s also “I Was Looking Back to See,” a later song, but one that sticks with me—at least the chorus. My grandchildren seem to get a kick out of these. I won’t give you a link to “Great Green Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts,” but they loved it, too.
Music brings joy in so many situations, and comfort in others. All the links I’ve given are to my own earworms, and I’ve enjoyed finding links to them. What songs stick in your head or in your heart?